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EMEC general election manifesto asks

Orbital O2 at EMEC

With a general election confirmed for 4 July 2024, EMEC sets out its key manifesto asks to cement green growth opportunities across ocean energy and floating offshore wind in the UK.

Established in 2003, EMEC is a not-for-profit innovation catalyst pioneering the transition to a clean energy future, offering test and demonstration sites to reduce the time, cost and risk of testing ocean energy and associated low carbon technologies.

EMEC is the only accredited wave and tidal test centre in the world with more ocean energy devices tested in Orkney, Scotland, than at any other site.

Over the last 20 years, pre-commercial technologies have been put to the test in challenging conditions at EMEC. An economic impact assessment spanning two decades of EMEC’s operations values impact of the test centre to the UK economy at £370 million – an eight-fold return on public funding in EMEC’s infrastructure.

EMEC has worked with a range of key stakeholders to scope out key green growth opportunities and the centre is seeking the mandate to deliver on these ambitious goals.

Neil Kermode, EMEC managing director, said:

“Having a national test centre for wave and tidal energy has established the UK as a world leader in the field whilst delivering significant value to the UK economy through the development of jobs, supply chain and export opportunities. This would not have been possible without the foresight and initial investment by government.

“The necessity to find solutions to climate change and transition to a net zero future has, quite literally, been heating up, and the UK is well placed yet again to lead the world in this endeavour. However, to fully realise the UK’s offshore energy ambitions, we need consistent structured support for the wave and tidal energy sector to enable it to progress to array demonstrations and a dedicated test centre for floating wind is needed to truly test and prove those technologies in the conditions in which they are earmarked to be deployed.”


Manifesto asks: green growth opportunities

Develop a National Floating Wind Test Centre in the UK

Artist's representation of EMEC National Floating Wind Test Centre

Building on its offshore innovation expertise, EMEC has developed plans for an £88 million national floating wind test site to the west of Orkney which will deliver 4,160 jobs and £690 million gross value added (GVA) to the UK economy.

EMEC and Orkney are located at the epicentre of offshore wind leasing and has an emerging R&D portfolio in this field. Over 23 GW of floating wind due to be deployed in Scottish waters over the next 20 years.

EMEC strongly believes that it is vital the UK set up a National Floating Wind Test Centre. EMEC has identified a suitable site which will offer floating wind developers globally significant testing conditions. This will enable performance to be refined on a wide range of technologies prior to commercial scale-up and build-out.

A dedicated test site will also help ensure that the UK captures and retains the innovation benefits and cements its leading position in the floating wind sector.


Wave and tidal energy innovation support

Mocean Blue X at EMEC Scapa Flow test site (Credit Colin Keldie)

The UK’s wave and tidal energy technology lead offers energy security and economic benefit with more than 80% UK project content worth an estimated £41 billion GVA to the UK economy by 2050.

EMEC strongly supports the industry asks via the UK Marine Energy Council:

Introduce dedicated innovation funding

In the absence of access to EU funding streams, we need to ensure Government commitment to continuity of innovation support for capturing energy security, economic and system benefits.

Set 2035 deployment targets

Setting ambitions for a 1 GW deployment target for tidal stream energy, and 300 MW for wave energy, by 2035 will help give focus to securing the UK’s lead in the ocean energy sector. The sector needs to accelerate the progression from prototype demonstrations to array deployments over the coming decade.

Maintain and create clear routes to market

Ensure revenue support and other routes to market are available to wave and tidal energy. Invest in early array deployment sites and create a strategic taskforce to realise the potential for ocean energy in the UK.








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